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Judgement For Sale: How Unscrupulous Judgement May Frustrate President Tinubu’s Plans For A Better Nigeria




Faleye Oluwatosin Simon

The government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been going round the world wooing investor to bring their investments to the country to better the economy of the country, one thing however that may be standing as obstacle towards achieving this feat is the activities of the judiciary.

Recent activities from the supposed hope of the common man are leaving too much to desire, recent judgement being delivered from the hallowed chambers is like deliberating working to negate the effect of the effort of the president to attract foreign investors into the country by deliberating preaching with their questionable judgement that investors’ right can be violated by their crooked gavels.

A group of retired and serving judges, magistrates, apex media doyens and others under the aegis of God & Country Ombudsmen for Nation Building (GOCONB) recently in Edo State petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) over a dismissed petition filed at the Edo State Election Tribunal.
The petition, which was addressed separately to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, His Lordship Ariwoola Kayode, the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the President of the Court of Appeal, Her Lordship Monica Dongban-Mensah, was titled, “Preserving the Honour & Integrity of Nigeria’s Judiciary from Unpatriotic Conduct of Three Tribunal Judges.”

The GOCONB petitions shows that the new judicial advocacy body that also comprises of zenith professionals in the media, environmentalists and international solicitors, some of who hold briefs with the ECOWAS, the African Union and European Commission, among global development institutions and partners.

It would be recalled that the Edo State election petition tribunal sitting in Benin and headed by Justice Yusuf Mohammed with Justice M.O. Agboola and Justice (Mrs) K.A. Keweanya as members, had dismissed the petition of the Labour Party’s candidate, Mr. Murphy Imasuen, who had challenged the declaration of his All Progressives Congress (APC) opponent, Mr. Osawaru Billy Famous, as the winner of Orhionmwon/Uhunwode federal constituency in the February 25 National Assembly election to the House of Representatives.

The tribunal ruled that it did not recognize Imasuen as his party’s candidate because of a pre-election issue within the Labour Party disregarding the judgement of Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/129/2022 delivered on February 20, 2023, and that of the Appeal Court in Suit No. CA/B/35/23 delivered on April 20, 2023, both of which declared Imasuen Murphy as the lawful House of Rep Candidate for Orhionmwon/Uhunwode federal constituency of Edo state under the Labour Party.

The three-man National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly election petition panel headed by Justice Yusuf Mohammed, questionably unanimously ruled that inspite of the pre-election judgment of the Federal High Court and the sequel Appeal Court judgment which declared Imasuen Murphy as the rightful candidate of the LP, the panel did not recognize Imasuen as the candidate of the Labour Party but Elizabeth Ativie whose candidacy had been terminally squashed by the Appeal Court.

Despite being furnished with the judgement of both the high court and the superior courts the tribunal turned a blind eye and delivered the judgment described by the GOCONB as “distressful, egregiously contemptuous of superior courts and not supported by law or facts.”

The statements reads further that the CJN and the NJC should wade in before actions of some judges turn the country on its head. The actions of many of these judges will not only make the judiciary an object of mockery it is also a tool that is working against the effort of the Tinubu led government to project the image of the country positively to the rest of the world.

In a similar case a political group, the Renaissance Political Forum in Amuwo Odofin also accused the Governor of Lagos State Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of allegedly collaborating with the House of Assembly petition Tribunal in Lagos headed by Justice Ashu Ewah, of turning the law on its head and showing contempt for judgement of a superior court just to force the governor’s candidate on the people even when he was rejected with vote during the March elections.

Findings reveals that the tribunal with the allege inducement from the governor decided to disregard their oath for upholding the law and rather worked contrarily to the constitution they swear to defend. Justice Ewah, together with his team which includes; Justices Abdullahi Ozegya and M. A. Sambo, were said to have acted as both the prosecutors and the judge in several cases but this become more pronounced in the case involving one Rauf Olawale Sulaiman from Amuwo-Odofin 2 in the State House of Assembly where the governor was said to be interested because he’s allegedly the governor’s ears and eyes in the State Legislative arm and the need for him to return not minding how judgement was obtained even to the extent that the judgement of the superior court was blatantly disregarded to impose the governor’s choice.

The group were also critical of the rot in the Judiciary which has spread to the upper court like the Court of Appeal where some justices were said to have deliberately engaged in underhand tactics to further enforce the anomaly and judgement miscarriage of the Lagos House of Assembly election tribunal by adopting virtual sitting to deliver the purported judgement to favor the governor’s candidate that lost election even with a hanging alleged signature forging accusation with regards to it, with total disregard for existing pre-election judgement by the Court of Appeal thereby embarking on an action that sees the court cancelling itself.

Observers were of the strong believe that the economic reform of the Tinubu led government is facing more risk of sabotage from the misgivings of the judiciary more than that of any other arm of the government, since it is the general knowledge that a compromised court is dangerous for business.



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